Australia 'deeply disappointed' by detention of citizen in China

19 July 2019; AFP: Canberra on Friday said it was "deeply disappointed" with the criminal detention of an Australian-Chinese writer in China, demanding Beijing release him if he is being held for "his political views".

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia had received confirmation Friday that Yang Henjun, held by Chinese authorities since January, had been transferred to criminal detention, apparently on national security grounds.

Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leave

Sydney, Jul 17 (AFP/PTI) Australia's government on Wednesday called on China to allow an Australian child and his Uighur mother to leave the country, stepping up pressure on Beijing days after Canberra co-signed a letter denouncing its treatment of the Muslim minority.

China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into re-education camps in the tightly-controlled region of Xinjiang in the country's northwest.

Death toll of PNG Highland tribal violence reaches 23

SYDNEY, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Latest reports have placed the death toll of a tribal massacre in Papua New Guinea's Hela Province (PNG) at 23.

Local television station EMTV reported that in addition to the 16 people violently murdered on Monday, seven people including four men and three women were killed in related incidents on Sunday.

After hearing the shocking news of Monday's violence, PNG Prime Minister James Marape took to social media on Tuesday evening to offer his condolences to a nation in mourning.

Two dead in South Australian plane crash

CANBERRA, July 7 (Xinhua) -- A pilot and a passenger have been killed in a light plane crash in South Australia (SA), authorities have confirmed.

Emergency services were called to the site near a small airport in SA's far north on Saturday night.

Police confirmed that the 59-year-old male pilot and his 48-year-old female passenger, both from Queensland, were killed.

Detained Australian leaves North Korea, arrives in China

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian student was released Thursday after a week in detention in North Korea and flew to Beijing, where he described his condition to reporters as “very good.”

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced to Parliament that Alek Sigley,29, had been released hours earlier following intervention from Swedish diplomats on Wednesday.

Sigley looked relaxed when he arrived at Beijing airport. He did not respond to reporters’ questions about what had happened in Pyongyang.

“I’m OK, I’m OK, I’m good. I’m very good,” Sigley said.

Australia’s central bank cuts key interest rate 0.25% to 1%

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Tuesday to a new record low of 1% in a bid to boost the economy.

The cut is the second in consecutive months. Previously the Reserve Bank of Australia had not shifted the rate in almost three years.

“This easing of monetary policy will support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target,” Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement.

Over 200 species named by top Aussie scientists in past 12 months

CANBERRA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Australia's peak scientific body has revealed that it named 230 new species in the past 12 months.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is leading the charge to accelerate the rate at which Australia's species' are named.

According to the organisation, only 20 to 25 percent of the half a million species that live in Australia have a scientific name. Those that have not been named are invisible to science and conservation.

ABC sues Australian police for seizing Afghanistan war crime docs

24 June 2019; DW: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said it went to court on Monday to challenge a raid conducted earlier this month by Australian Federal Police.

The ABC demanded an injunction to prevent police from accessing seized files relating to a 2017 investigative report — based on hundreds of pages of leaked secret military documentsabout possible war crimes committed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.

Australia repatriating 8 youth from Islamic State families

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Eight Australian offspring of two slain Islamic State group fighters had been removed from Syria in Australia’s first organized repatriation from the conflict zone, Australia’s prime minister said on Monday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the eight children being repatriated were in the care of Australian government officials. He would not identify the children or say when they would reach Australia.

Australia police make record meth drug bust

7 June 2019; DW: Australian Border Force (ABF) officials have discovered nearly 1.6 metric tons (3,530 pounds) of methamphetamine after examining containers at an inspection facility in Melbourne.

Officers examined a sea cargo consignment and found the drugs hidden inside stereo speakers that had come from the Thai capital, Bangkok.

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